The continuing presence of The Peace Abbey around the World



Music Video of The Peace Abbey

Peace memorials and museums are a relatively new idea.  War, on the other hand, has enjoyed glorification through monuments, literature, art, and war memorials and museums for centuries.   The motivation for creating statuary and monuments to peace and non-violence as an endeavor was and still is the faith that making people aware of the cost of war is tantamount to educating them for peace.

The second wave of peace memorials and museums sprung up after the destructive years of World War II.  Appropriately, the majority of these memorials were established in Japan, where a keen understanding of the fatal consequences of nuclear warfare was realized.  The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were centers of staunch opposition to nuclear warfare that spread throughout the world.

Today, peace memorials can be found in every continent of the world.  Though war still lingers, there is hope to be found in the growth of the peace memorial and museum movement.  Efforts aimed at furthering the cause of peace are truly an incremental enterprise.  The greater the presence of peace memorials and museums, the more palpable the message of peace is for the general public.

 Tehran Peace Museum




Like the seeds of a dandelion, may the many gifts bestowed by The Peace Abbey carry blessings and wishes for peace in their new locations; and may they embody the energy and spirit of the wonderful people that made the Abbey such an extraordinary place for over a quarter-of-a-century.   – Lewis Randa

Ever wondered where the seeds of peace activism of the Peace Abbey and Life Experience School extend to and their value to peace in the world?   See below:


Blessed Mother and Child statue dedicated on Mothers Day 2013 at Holy Family Church in Duxbury, MA.  The sculpture was originally given to the Peace Abbey / Life Experience School by the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master.  The original statue was sculpted by world renowned artist, Sr. Angelica in Rome, Italy.



Mother Teresa statue placed between Church and Rectory at St. Mary’s Church.

 Mother Teresa statue commissioned following Mother Teresa’s visit to the Life Experience School in 1988 was re-dedicated on May 9. 2014 at St. Mary’s Church in Dedham, MA.  The presentation was led by Mary O’Connor and Fr. William Kelly.




Mother Antonia at the Mother House of the Eudist Servants of the Eleventh Hour which she founded as part of her prison work.

A statue of Mother Teresa was presented to Courage of Conscience Award recipient Mother Antonia outside of La Masa Prison in Tijuana, Mexico.  (Underwritten by Edward Coppola.)




Statue of Mother Teresa at Norte Dame University.

Norte Dame University

Bronze statue of Mother Teresa at shrine on the campus of Notre Dame University. (Underwritten by Edward Coppola.)




Honoring Conscientious Objectors.

 Stone honoring Conscientious Objectors created by the Peace Abbey was gifted to Cambridge Friends Meeting and is located in the side garden to the left of the Administrative Offices.  It was pulled by Stonewalkers from the Abbey to Friends Meeting Cambridge.  This is the first of many stones to be created by the Life Experience School.



 Two North Main Street, Sherborn, Massachusetts

Gandhi Statue at the Pacifist Memorial in Sherborn, MA.

Gandhi statue was unveiled at the Pacifist Memorial on October 2, 1994, the 125 birth anniversary of Mohandas K. Gandhi.  Listed on the plaque below are the individuals that participated in the dedication ceremonies.  (Included are Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Daniel Berrigan, Dave Dellinger, Arun Gandhi and other significant peacemakers.)

Dedication plaque of the Pacifist Memorial.


The Pacifist Memorial in Sherborn, MA.

Bronze Gandhi statue at the Pacifist Memorial in Sherborn, MA where over 65 pacifists throughout history are acknowledged through a quotations on bronze plaques.  The Pacifist Memorial is an Open-Air Peace Chapel of the World’s Major Religions.
Sand blasting engraving of additional names on the CO Hill Memorial Stone for Conscientious Objectors.

CO stone installed by Dan, Leah, Jonah and Lewis.

Granite Memorial Stone for Conscientious Objectors.  Buried here are the ashes of over a dozen pacifists who devoted their lives to social change through the power of nonviolence.  The names engraved on the Memorial Stone include Pat Farren, David Dellinger, Wally Nelson & Chuck Matthei, Lynda Bock Weitz, Paramal Das, Ralph DiGia, Ann & John Rush, Patricia Watson, Zell Draz, Norman Nylund, Tom Lewis, Sheila DeSalvo and Howard Willard, Jr.

The memorial stone on the grounds of the Peace Abbey.

  Memorial Stone for Unknown Civilians Killed in War on the grounds of the Pacifist Memorial next to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Sherborn, MA.  Located where Routes 27 & 16 fork in Sherborn, MA.

Victim of Violence Stone was dedicated by Fr. Daniel Berrigan on May 4, 1994 during the unveiling of the Gandhi statue. It was created to honor all victims of violence, whether domestic or state sponsored through the death penalty or the waging of armed conflict.



Emily in her barn at the Peace Abbey Veganpeace Animal Sanctuary.

Emily in her barn at the Peace Abbey Veganpeace Animal Sanctuary.

Emily the Cow with the Randa family in her new barn. (Barn construction underwritten by Ellen and Rob Little.)

Picture 1024

Emily lying in state in the barn during memorial service attended by members of the community that loved her and paid their respects.


Jain Path from front parking lot to Emily’s grave.


Gandhi Path from Pacifist Memorial to Animal Rights Memorial at Emily the Cow’s grave.

Bronze statue of Emily the Cow was dedicated on Earth Day 2005 behind the statue of Gandhi.

Dedication plaque at Emily’s grave.


Statue of Emily the Cow was sculpted by Lado and Shake Goudjabidze.

Order your copy of The Story of Emily the Cow.
All proceeds go for the care of Emily’s grave and the Animal Rights Memorial.



Gandhi and earth image on the Peace Seeds medallion.

The Peace Seeds represent the twelve prayers for peace prayed in Assisi, Italy on the Day of Prayer for World Peace during the United Nations International Year of Peace, 1986. The Prayers were brought to the United States and entrusted to the care of the children at The Life Experience School. Peace Seeds can be acquired from the Peace Abbey for a small donation.


Peace beads are strung together to form the Peace Seeds Rosary by Roy and Dorothy who devote themselves to prayerful service to others.

Prayers for Peace



dove over globe

The Courage of Conscience Award statuette of the Peace Dove in outreached hands was commissioned to express the work of our hands that will bring about peace.

All awards are bestowed with the love of the students at The Life Experience School without whom the Award would not exist.  Complete list of Courage of Conscience Award Recipients.
2007 Courage of Conscience Awards Jackson Browne

Jackson Brown received the Courage of Conscience Award in LA and was sponsored by John and Melissa Levoff.


Mother Teresa with Courage of Conscience Award.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Catholic nun, humanitarian and spiritual teacher, recipient of The Courage of Conscience Award.  The Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award was created as part of the Gratitude Project of the Life Experience School for children and young adults with disabilities.




Hand-carved statue that was in the Peace Abbey Chapel for 25 years now serves as the focal point of healing and gratitude in Des Moines, Iowa.

Peace Abbey Crucifix

Room established to welcome those who are being treated for life-threatening illness or wish to give thanks for the state of their health.  (Under the stewardship and care of Gary and Connie Randa.)

unnamed 2

The Peace Abbey Prayer Book, which holds the prayers of thousands of people from all walks of life, is held under the care and stewardship of Gary and Connie Randa.

unnamed 3

The prayers were written at the foot of the crucifix in the Abbey Chapel in Sherborn, Massachusetts over a period of 25 years. It continues to offer pages for people to enter their deepest wishes, expressions of gratitude and prayers for healing in the Prayer Room in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Peace Abbey Prayer Book


The above description was written by a graduate student from the Divinity School at Harvard University as part of her internship at The Peace Abbey.


For over a quarter of a century, thousands of candles were lit in the Abbey Chapel and the metal wick holders were held in honor and remembrance of the prayers that the flames represented.  The metal discs from the Chapel candle stand were kept out of respect for the prayers and never discarded.

Prayer Links




Gandhi Bust presented to the United Nations by sculptor Lado Goudjabidze.

Bust of Gandhi at United Nations, “Sanction for Nonviolence”  New York, NY



Occupy Boston


With the uprising of discontent in America over what was perceived to be unbridled corporate greed and disregard for human needs, the Wall Street Occupy Movement spread to Boston on September 30, 2011.  1% of the world’s wealth is owned and controlled by 80 people.


Students at the Life Experience School delivered the statue of Gandhi to Occupy Boston in the hope that the image of Gandhi would remind protesters to practice nonviolence at all times.


Chris Randa and other activists move Gandhi statue hours before Occupy Boston ended.

Boston Globe Photo of the Year 2011.

Within days, a nine foot statue of Mahatma Gandhi was brought to the encampment as a symbol of peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience by the Peace Abbey of Sherborn, MA.  The ten week long citizen’s occupation to protest economic injustice ended on December 10, 2011. It was the longest continual Occupy demonstration in the country.

University of Massachusetts at Boston

Prayer altar in Peace Abbey Chapel.

Prayer altar in Peace Abbey Chapel.


Peace Abbey prayer altar donated to the Chapel at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Presented to Reverend Adrienne Berry-Burton by the students at the Life Experience School.

Multi-Faith Prayer Altar

Commissioned altar with the words: Always Pray – Pray all Ways with Earth design and the names of the 12 major religions carved into each of the 12 sides of the base of the altar.  Designed by Lewis Randa.  A replica was created by Wellesley College, Multi-faith Chapel.
The Peacemakers Table at the Peace Abbey / Life Experience School where the students met each morning for forty years before gifting it to UMASS Boston for its new peace room.

Re-dedication of the Peacemakers Table at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

The Peacemakers Table at UMASS Boston

Among the noted peacemakers that met at the Abbey Peacemakers Table are: Mother Teresa, Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Howard Zinn, Arun Gandhi, Camila Sadat, Raul Julia, Thich Nhat Hanh, Daniel Berrigan, Richie Havens, Ram Das, Helen Caldicott, Ramsey Clark, Barry Crimmins, Michael Klaper, Harry Wu, Ralph DiGia, Dave Dellinger, Patch Adams, Hugh Thompson Jr., Stanley Kunitz, Ngawang Choephel, Betsy Sawyer, Elise Boulding, Michael True, Roy Bourgeois, Paul Rusesabagina, Camilo Mejia, Cindy Sheehan, Francis Crowe, Gene Sharp, Will Tuttle, Tommie Smith, John Dear, Mother Anonia Brenner and numerous other extraordinary peacemakers.  The Peacemakers Table was dedicated to the late Quaker scholar and peace activist, Elise Boulding






Stonewalk is a project started in 1999 to honor civilian casualties in war and is never ending.


The 33-day, 500-mile inaugural walk of pulling a two-thousand pound granite memorial stone engraved with the words UNKNOWN CIVILIANS KILLED IN WAR to Washington, DC was in the hope of seeing it placed permanently in Arlington National Cemetery.  The dream lives on.



Stonewalk, (US, Ireland, England, Japan, Korea)

 The Coventry blitz from the German word Blitzkrieg meaning “lightning war” was a series of bombing raids that took place on the English city of Coventry.
The city was bombed many times during the Second World War by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). The most devastating of these attacks occurred on the evening of 14 November 1940.

Stone at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Coventry, England.

Memorial Stone for Unknown Civilians Killed in War placed at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Coventry, England in 2001.  Pulled by Stonewalkers from Liverpool to Coventry where it was placed in perpetuity during a special ceremony at St. Michael’s Cathedral which was bombed during the WW II.



Following the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on the city.

Stone at the Cathedral in Hiroshima.

Memorial Stone pulled from Nagasaki to Hiroshima, Japan by Stonewalkers and placed in perpetuity at the Hiroshima World Peace Memorial Cathedral on August 6, 2005, the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing.




The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a region on the Korean peninsula that demarcates North Korea from South Korea. Roughly following the 38th parallel, the 150-mile-long DMZ incorporates territory on both sides of the cease-fire line as it existed at the end of the Korean War (1950–53).


Stone at the DMZ.

Memorial Stone for Unknown Civilians Killed in War created and pulled by Japanese Stonewalkers from the Southern coast of South Korea to the DMZ in 2007.  The Stone is placed in perpetuity at the Korean demilitarized zone.




Archbishop Oscar Romero is the Patron Saint of the Peace Abbey and inspires our nonviolent efforts to address social injustice.
Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980 while saying Mass at the Cancer Hospital Chapel at the Hospital of the Divine Providence where he lived in San Salvador.  Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980.

Abbey created bronze busts of Oscar Romero are at Peace Centers and Chapels throughout Central America.

Bronze bust of Oscar Romero at the Romero Museum.

Bust of Oscar Romero presented to the Romero Museum in San Salvador and is placed at the front entrance.

Cottage where Romero lived with Romero bust at the front entrance.

Romero Bust in front of the Cottage where he lived on the grounds of the Hospital of the Divine Providence, San Salvador.
Presentation of Romero molds at the Romero Museum in San Salvador.

Presentation of Romero molds at the Romero Museum in San Salvador.

University of Iowa faculty participating in presentation of molds at the Romero Museum in San Salvador.


Molds designed by Lewis Randa and artist Lado Goudjabidze.

The Romero Project was started to help generate funds for humanitarian efforts in El Salvador through the creation and circulation of 12” rubber medallion molds of Monsignor Oscar Romero.   These molds, sculpted by Lado Goudjabidze, are given free of charge to schools, hospitals, churches and community centers in villages in El Salvador.  Provided with instructions on how to mix and pour inexpensive plaster into the molds to create a beautiful wall hanging, the Romero Project seeks to place in the hands of those who loved the late Archbishop the means to generate additional income for their families, groups or organizations.



In December 1982 Samantha Smith, a 10-year-old girl from Manchester, Me., wrote to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov to ask if he was going to wage a nuclear war against the U.S.

Samantha Smith bust commissioned following her tragic death with her father Arthur on a small plane returning to Maine.

 This simple effort of writing a letter by a young American brought about a shift in US – Soviet relations and nurtured expressions of peace throughout the world.  The bust of  Samantha Smith was presented to the Moscow Samantha Smith Peace Foundation at a special ceremony at the Life Experience School in 1988.  The Samantha Smith Project continues to share her story with the world.



(Commissioned Works of Art by Lewis Randa through the artistry of Lado & Shake Goudjabidze.)  


Mohandas K. Gandhi Statue

The Pacifist Memorial, Sherborn, MA

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston, MA

(Proposed location at Dewey Square, Boston, MA)

Mohandas K. Gandhi Bust

 United Nations Headquarters, NYC

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts

Emily the Cow Statue

Sacred Cow Animal Rights Memorial, Sherborn, MA

Mother Teresa  Statue 

Blessed Mother Teresa Church, Dorchester, MA

Women’s Correctional Facility, Framingham, MA

Mother Antonia, Tijuana Correctional Facility, Mexico

Archdiocese of Des Moines, IA St.

Anthony’s Church, Des Moines, IA  

Mercy Hospital, Des Moines, IA

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston, MA

St. Mary’s Church Dedham, MA

Monsignor Oscar Romero Bust

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior, El Salvador, CA

Monsignor Romero and Martyrs Center, El Salvador, CA

Hospital of the Divine Providence, (Romero Cottage) El Salvador, CA

The National Oscar Romero Museum, El Salvador, CA

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

John F. Kennedy Bust 

JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston 

Robert F. Kennedy Bust

JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

Samantha Smith Bust

Samantha Smith Peace Center, Moscow, Russia

Pine Hill Elementary School, Sherborn, MA

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

Courage of Conscience Award   

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

158 Recipients throughout the World

Barack Obama and Grandmother Bust

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

Conscientious Objector Memorial Stone 

Cambridge Friends Meeting, (Quakers) Cambridge, MA

Victim of Violence Memorial Stone 

Pacifist Memorial, Sherborn, MA

Memorial Stone for Conscientious Objectors on CO Hill 

Pacifist Memorial, Sherborn, MA

Unknown Civilians Killed in War

Pacifist Memorial, Sherborn, MA

St. Michael’s Cathedral, Coventry, England

Hiroshima, Japan

DMZ Korea (Gift from Hibakusha)

Multi-faith Altar

University of Massachusetts Boston Chapel


Chapel hand-carved wooden crucifix

Walcott Avenue, Des Moines, IA

Madonna and Child

Holy Family Church, Duxbury, MA

Giant Red Wood Tree

Fiske Memorial Library, Wrentham


University of Massachusetts Boston   (Political, Social Justice, Pacifism, Conscientious Objection, Animal Rights)

Boston University School of Theology, Harvard Divinity School, Bethany Prison Ministries  (Multi-faith, religious, spirituality)

The above listed gifts were made by The Life Experience School and The Peace Abbey.


Above photograph is the IMAGINE tribute to John Lennon in Central Park which is a place of pilgrimage for a generation of peacemakers who were influenced by his life, music and commitment to peace and social justice.

Peace Abbey holdings at UMASS Boston

To make an appointment to visit the Peace Abbey Collection, contact UMB Archives at: 617.287.5469

Peace and Justice display at Healey Library.

Peace and Justice display at Healey Library.

The Peace Abbey permanent exhibit is under construction so call before visiting.

The pendulum of the Grandfather clock that recipients of the Courage of Conscience Award wound continues to swing in the new Peace Room at the Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston.

Students and faculty sit at the Peacemakers Table for classes and to study throughout the day.

The replica of the bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi stands as a symbol of nonviolence and peacemaking in the new Peace Room.



What do you get when you incorporate the Peace Abbey history and holdings into the University of Massachusetts Boston? You get an expression of its long journey for Peace, Social Action, Public Policy and the Arts!   So what exactly are we gifting the Healey Library at UMB?

For over a quarter of a century, The Peace Abbey has been a major center for the promotion of peace and social justice for metropolitan Boston and entire New England area and is recognized internationally for its work. Like its parent organization the Life Experience School, it was inspired by the life and times of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr, so it is most fitting that it now finds its new home next to the Kennedy Presidential Library and the soon to be completed Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. It was Ted Kennedy’s congressional inquiry into my case as a conscientious objector while a member of the 114th Medical battalion of the Massachusetts Army National Guard in 1971 that led to my discharge. And the Life Experience School and later the Peace Abbey would become, not simply alternative service, but “a lifelong alternative service”.   So these gifts that we bestow on the University of Massachusetts Boston today are much more than they appear for they are the outward and physical representation of a journey of empowering people to say no to violence and to war and all that is deemed unacceptable by conscience.

Thus, the Peace Abbey served as the Founding headquarters for the National Registry for Conscientious Objection, stored archival material from the Vietnam War to the present wars in the Middle East, sought to demonstrate opposition to militarism through numerous, high profile peaceful acts of civil disobedience to prevent, then end armed conflict; endeavored to influence public policy through the recognition of unknown civilian casualties of war at Arlington National Cemetery through STONEWALK, USA which became a global requiem pilgrimage through the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Japan and South Korea which ended at the DMZ. The Abbey and the Life Experience School helped draw attention to the need to change the name of the state department here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that provides services to developmentally disabled individuals. We helped get the R word removed from the agency name, once and for all. The Peace Abbey commissioned great works of peace art through a collaboration with Georgian Artists, Lado and Shake Goudjabidze which included acclaimed sculptures of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Oscar Romero of El Salvador, Samantha Smith, President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Emily the Cow and the peace dove in out reached hands which is the Courage of Conscience Award which has been presented to extraordinary practitioners of nonviolent social change throughout the world. In the course of these twenty-five years, the Peace Abbey sought to reduce misunderstanding and its consequential violence by bringing religions, one of the major causes of war, hatred and societal dysfunction, together under one roof in the Abbey Chapel of Change.

So today, July 9, 2012, we are formally gifting to the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Peacemakers Table, around which Mother Teresa, Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou and many other peacemakers sat, the Abbey Grandfather Clock, which was donated by my father in honor of my mother Helen Randa, its display cases with artifacts of this extraordinary journey of peacemaking that the Life Experience School began in 1972, and gifting replicas of the original bronze statues belonging to the Life Experience School and the Peace Abbey along with the entire peace, social justice, pacifism and animal rights library. May the new Center and Archives for Peace, Social Action, Public Policy and the Arts put them to good use in educating students, faculty and the general public in the ways of peacemaking and the power and moral authority of nonviolence.

Today we sign the Deed of Gift to the University of Massachusetts Boston as a form of friendship, with every hope for the future and a desire that the Life Experience School and Peace Abbey’s mission, which is to make the world more compassionate and understanding, less harsh & more loving, finds expression here in this newly created Center & Archives for Peace, Social Justice, Public Policy & the Arts.

Lewis M. Randa, Founder
The Life Experience School / Peace Abbey

Picture 127_4

Never Joined, Never Ratified or Withdrew

This is a list of 15 significant international organizaitons and treaties “boycotted” — for one reason or another — by the US Government. The list is incomplete. Readers are encouraged to add any additional organization or treaty by sending email to geovisual at (The US State Department maintains an on-line list of 37 “Treaties Pending in the Senate,” some of which are included below and most of which are not included below. Of course, it’s a matter of personal opinion what treaties are “significant” and what are not.)

1919-1946 –  League of Nations. “In the Treaty of Versailles, it was Woodrow Wilson, the president of America, that suggested that the League of Nations as part of his fourteen points… [It was] difficult…for the League to function without having the United States as a member. But it was a Republican majority in Congress that blocked the USA’s entry into the League, not the President. It is now known that Wilson was very, very ill during vital periods at Versailles and afterwards and probably lacked the will to win Congress around.”

June 26, 1945 – United Nations (UN). Charter signed in San Francisco. “Beginning in last decades of the Cold War, American & European critics of the UN condemned the organization for perceived mismanagement and corruption…” “Since 1985 the U.S. Congress has refused to authorize payment of the U.S. dues, in order to force UN compliance with U.S. wishes, as well as a reduction in the U.S. assessment. After prolonged negotiations, the U.S. and the UN negotiated an agreement whereby the United States would pay a large part of the money it owes, and in exchange the UN would reduce the assessment rate ceiling from 25% to 22%. The reduction in the assessment rate ceiling was among the reforms contained in the 1999 Helms-Biden legislation, which links payment of $926 million in U.S. arrears to the UN and other international organizations to a series of reform benchmarks. U.S. arrears to the UN currently total over $1.3 billion. Of this, $612 million is payable under Helms-Biden. The remaining $700 million result from various legislative and policy withholdings; at present, there are no plans to pay these amounts.”

November 4, 1946 – UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “In 1984, the United States withheld its contributions & withdrew from the organization in protest [of the “New World Information and Communication Order”], followed by the United Kingdom in 1985. Singapore withdraw also at the end of 1985, citing rising membership fees. Following a change of government in 1997, the UK rejoined. The United States rejoined in 2003, followed by Singapore on 8 October 2007.” /// From New York Times: “The United States lost its vote at Unesco on [November 8, 2013], two years after cutting off its financial contribution to the organization over the admission of Palestinians as full members. The move undermined America’s ability to exercise its influence in countries around the globe through the UN agency’s educational & aid programs, according to Western diplomats & international relations experts.” /// From Email November 15, 2013: “For the first time ever, we lost our vote in a UN organization for failing to pay our dues. And the agency we just walked away from is none other than UNESCO, whose programs are clearly and directly in the interests of Americans. Charged with promoting education, science, and culture worldwide, UNESCO works to build democracy from the roots of society, including in critical yet unstable nations like Iraq. And the reason we no longer have a voice in such a vital international organization is because of an outdated law that forced the U.S. to withdraw all funding for UNESCO – 22 percent of its operational budget – when the Palestinians were granted full membership in 2011.”

November 22, 1969 –  American Convention on Human Rights (Pact of San José). “The treaty is open to all OAS member states, although to date it has not been ratified by Canada or several of the English-speaking Caribbean nations; the United States signed it in 1977 but has not proceeded with ratification… As of 2013, 25 of the 35 OAS’s member states have ratified the Convention, while [Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela] have denounced it subsequently, leaving 23 active parties… The bodies responsible for overseeing compliance with the Convention are the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights & the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, both of which are organs of the Organization of American States (OAS).”

December 18, 1979 – Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). “The United States and Palau have signed, but not yet ratified the treaty. The Holy See, Iran, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Tonga are not signatories to CEDAW.”

November 17, 1988 –  Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (Protocol of San Salvador). “An attempt to take the inter-American human rights system to a higher level by enshrining its protection of so-called second-generation rights in the economic, social & cultural spheres. The protocol’s provisions cover such areas as the right to work, the right to health, the right to food, and the right to education. It came into effect on 16 November 1999 and has been ratified by 14 nations.”

November 20, 1989 – UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). “Currently, 193 countries are party to the convention, including every member of the United Nations except Somalia, South Sudan & the United States.”

June 8, 1990 –  Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty. Adopted at Asunción, Paraguay. “While Article 4 of the American Convention had already placed severe restrictions on the states’ ability to impose the death penalty – only applicable for the most serious crimes; no reinstatement once abolished; not to be used for political offenses or common crimes; not to be used against those aged under 18 or over 70, or against pregnant women – signing this protocol formalizes a state’s solemn commitment to refrain from using capital punishment in any peacetime circumstance. To date it has been ratified by 11 nations.”

December 3, 1997 – Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Land Mines Treaty). “Currently, a total of 161 nations are party to the Ottawa treaty.” See

December 11, 1997 – Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Protocol was adopted by Parties to the UNFCCC in 1997 and entered into force in 2005. The United States signed but did not ratify the Protocol. Canada withdrew from it in 2011.

July 17, 1998 – International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC was created by the Rome Statute which came into force on 1 July 2002. “Currently, 122 states are states parties to the Statute of the Court, including all of South America, nearly all of Europe, most of Oceania and roughly half the countries in Africa. A further 31 countries, including Russia, have signed but not ratified the Rome Statute. The law of treaties obliges these states to refrain from ‘acts which would defeat the object and purpose’ of the treaty until they declare they do not intend to become a party to the treaty. Three of these states—Israel, Sudan and the United States—have informed the UN Secretary General that they no longer intend to become states parties and, as such, have no legal obligations arising from their former representatives’ signature of the Statute. 41 United Nations member states have neither signed nor ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute; some of them, including China and India, are critical of the Court. On 21 January 2009, the Palestinian National Authority formally accepted the jurisdiction of the Court. On 3 April 2012, the ICC Prosecutor declared himself unable to determine that Palestine is a ‘state’ for the purposes of the Rome Statute and referred such decision to the United Nations. On 29 November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of recognizing Palestine as a non-member observer state.”

September 2000 – Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). “Building upon a decade of major UN conferences & summits, world leaders came together at UN Headquarters in New York to adopt the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets – with a deadline of 2015 – that have become known as the [eight] MDG’s.” /// “The United States as well as other nations disputed the Monterrey Consensus [the outcome on 22 March 2002 of the UN International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico] that urged ‘developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product (GNP) as ODA [official development assistance] to developing countries.’ Attempts to increase US political attention to the MDG’s include The Borgen Project [sic] which worked with then Senator Barack Obama on the Global Poverty Act, a bill requiring the White House to develop a strategy for achieving the goals. The bill did not pass, despite Obama’s two terms as US President. /// The US [has] consistently opposed setting specific foreign-aid targets since the UN General Assembly first endorsed the 0.7% goal in 1970.” /// “Some critics suggest that the US has ignored the Monterrey Consensus because the amount of US official development assistance (0.18% of its GDP in 2008), is still well below the 0.7% target, which it endorsed in the Consensus. It is much lower than some other developed countries, especially those in Scandinavia.”

2003 – United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). “In 1970, the International Union of Official Travel Organizations (IUOTO) general assembly voted in favor of forming the WTO, based on statutes of the IUOTO, and after ratification by the prescribed 51 states, the WTO came into operation on November 1, 1974. Most recently, at the 15th general assembly in 2003, the WTO general council & the UN agreed to establish the WTO as a specialized agency of the UN… Fifteen state members have withdrawn from the organization for different periods in the past: Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Kuwait, Malaysia, Myanmar, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Thailand and Puerto Rico (as an associate member). All but Canada have since rejoined… Non-members are: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Comoros, Denmark, Dominica, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Guyana, Iceland, Ireland, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.”

March 15, 2006 – UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Successor to UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR). “Secretaries General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki Moon, former president of the council Doru Costea, the European Union, Canada and the United States have accused the council of focusing disproportionately on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The United States boycotted the Council during the George W. Bush administration, but reversed its position on it during the Obama administration.”

March 30, 2007 – UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disibilities. “One of the most quickly supported human rights instruments in history, with strong support from all regional groups. 155 States signed the Convention upon its opening in 2007, and 126 States ratified the Convention within its first five years…. The US Senate failed to ratify the Convention on December 3, 2012, as ratification received just 61 of the 67 votes (2/3 of the Senate) required for ratification.”

 Posted by at 11:00 am